We had the pleasure of meeting with Sam Katz this past week to ask him about his eCommerce business journey. It was a great opportunity to learn about some of the struggles that business owners like him go through, and how the FreeeUp Marketplace has helped him save his business by introducing him to capable freelancers who took tasks off his overflowing plate.
Here are some of the key points that we discussed:
1) Sam, tell us about your business – What does it do? What market does it serve? How did you get started with it?
We do private label. We import products from China with our private label and we list them on online marketplaces. We’re currently selling household items.
In the beginning, I was looking for a job, and most of the job offers were Amazon related jobs. And I thought to myself, “If so many people are making money through Amazon, why work for them? Maybe I can do it myself and I’ll be the one hiring!” And thanks to God, it works.
I must admit that I was naive at first for thinking that I could just jump in and make money. Back then, I thought that it was a super easy business to start up and that everyone makes money out of it. Now I know that it’s possible, but not easy. There are a lot of chances to make good money on Amazon, but if the business is not managed properly, you can end up losing a lot of money.
2) Did you have any experience hiring online before using the FreeeUp Marketplace? If so, what was that like?
I started out by posting job offers on Odesk and Elance because I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know how to go about hiring the right people. I didn’t know whom to trust and whom it pays to onboard. So I never actually made a hire on those platforms.
3) How and when did you hear about FreeeUp? What enticed you to give it a shot?
I was choked for time. I was at a point where I said that I either absolutely had to hire someone or give up on my growing business. I didn’t even know in which area exactly I needed help. I just knew that I had definitely outgrown my capacity to handle it all.
So I decided to post a job offer on Upwork one more time. I didn’t know how it would end, but I knew that I had no other choice. It just had to work this time.
It was then that I also posted a question on an Amazon sellers support group about hiring, and someone answered, “Why not try Freeeup? They have talented, experienced people for all Amazon-related tasks.” I was like. “…Is this a dream? Is there really such a thing?”
I immediately contacted Nate and requested a video meeting with him so I could learn more about his services. I was very impressed, and right away I knew that I was in the right place.
4) What was your first impression of using the FreeeUp Marketplace to hire freelancers?
I didn’t even know exactly what tasks I would give out to them, but I felt relieved. For the first time, I saw other people doing my work. It was a good feeling, and was relieving. I also knew that if it continued that way, I could finally start thinking about giving structure to my business and growing it.
5) What makes FreeeUp different from other hiring marketplaces?
First, the expert advice from Nathan about when it pays to hire a professional and when a basic contractor is good enough is invaluable. He is really an expert, and no other platform for hiring freelancers gives this kind of advice.
Second, it’s so easy to find a suitable freelancer. You just fill out a worker request and you get introduced to the contractor you want. There’s no need for all the filtering and sorting of candidates and bids to narrow down your list to the right people.
Third, you know the people on the FreeeUp Marketplace are experienced. They even sometimes know the task better than you do!
Fourth, you don’t have to simply trust their profiles that they are good. Nate only lets the best ones into the marketplace, and he knows their capabilities and success rates from previous projects. You get qualified workers who are the right match for your needs.
Fifth, if there are any issues with the contractor, there is an assistant you can talk to who makes sure that everything is solved and settled immediately. This personal attention and fast response is not available on the hiring platforms that I’ve tried.
Finally, if for any reason you have to let someone go, you don’t have to start from scratch again. Nate gets you covered right away with an alternative. Moreover, the new contractor most often gets the information on the tasks from the previous contractor so there are no gaps and no wasted time.
6) What type of talent have you hired from the FreeeUp Marketplace?
The question is what talent have I not hired?! I’ve hired for customer service, feedback removal, review responses, PPC, keyword research, Facebook posting, expansion managers for different marketplaces, website design, package design, new product set up, all kinds of basic VA stuff, and so many more that I can’t list them all.
7) If you were giving advice to someone just starting to hire online, what would it be?
If you feel drowned in work, just hire someone, even if you think that your tasks are too small to be outsourced and you won’t have enough work to give them to fill up their time because you haven’t got them all organized yet. Just start by giving them 1 task – the easiest task, the most boring task, the task you hate the most, or the task you always wanted to do but you just never get around to it. Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day for them, just get started. Once you experience hiring, you’ll get a little bit more organized here and there, and it gets addictive. You’ll keep on thinking of more and more different tasks that you can outsource.
8) Is there anything else that you’d like to share with the FreeeUp community?
Outsourcing tasks to contractors is the best thing you could do for yourself, for your family, and for your business. Don’t worry about sharing your profits with the contractors, either. First, your contracting bills won’t be that high. Second, with God’s help you’ll see the rewards very soon – you’ll start realizing how tied up you were before because of those few silly tasks that kept holding you back from growing your business and truly enjoying your day!
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She spends most of her time doing freelance content writing and management, community volunteer work with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.